Oct 17, 2008

Entertainment - India;Preity Zinta talks tough

Preity Zinta has always had the guts to take on issues. She says flashing her trademark dimples, “I’m not as tough as people portray me to be. But I believe that even if the whole world opposes you, you have to stand by what’s right. Even as a child I would fight with 30 people, go home with scars but be happy that I had stood up for what was right.” She adds, “When I witnessed my father passing away at an early age, I realised that we’re not invincible. My father was the epitome of strength. If a mountain like him could crumble, who was I?”

She explains further, “I believe that I should live with dignity. I don’t keep anything in my heart and speak out what I think is right. I do get into trouble because of this. But it’s better to have true enemies than fake friends who stab you in the back. My dad used to say, ‘Live life like a warrior. Don’t underestimate or overestimate anyone’.”

This spirit also helped her understand women who have fought against their abusive husbands. “I worked with battered wives in Canada. When I was doing Heaven on Earth, which is based on the stories of these women, my heart broke. It’s better to kill a woman than destroy her spirit by constant battering. One woman had said to me, ‘I told my husband that I didn’t mind him beating me but not in front of the family.’ I couldn’t understand her viewpoint.”

Preity adds, “While shooting the film, there was this scene where my husband hits me. I couldn’t let the crew stand and watch. I thought it was more intimate than a love scene! Imagine what a woman must be going through when she gets beaten up in front of her children. You feel small when you are hit but someone else witnessing that humiliation is worse.” Preity recounts another story, “Deepa (Mehta, director) met a lady named Mona Gill. She was a Punjabi married in Canada. Her husband used to beat her up regularly. Whenever she dialled 911 for help, nobody could understand her language Punjabi. After nine years, Mona managed to escape. She joined the police force as she wished to help some other woman in her kind of situation!”

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